A local church group is putting out an early call to purchase tickets for an upcoming breakfast talk that will feature a prominent peace advocate and author.
Douglas Roche will be the featured speaker at the second annual St. Albert Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for Nov. 27.
Roche said his message will be one of hope, drawn from his assessment that positive dialogue is developing between Muslims and the Western world.
“We’re not fated for a clash of civilizations. We’re trying to move toward an alliance of civilizations,” Roche said.
“This is a very big move in the world,” he said. “It provides a significant reason for hope that we can get beyond war.”
Roche is currently working on his 20th book, entitled How We Stopped Loving The Bomb.
The former parliamentarian and diplomat specialized in peace and human security issues throughout a 40-year public career that saw him serve as a member of the senate and Parliament. Roche was also Canada’s ambassador for disarmament and chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Committee in 1988.
The Edmonton resident is an officer of the Order of Canada. The bulk of his talk will come from his book entitled The Human Right To Peace.
“People are fed up with war. The Iraq and the Afghanistan experiences have demonstrated that very clearly,” Roche said. “I’m not saying that all wars are going to end overnight but I’m saying that there’s a trend in the world moving away from the use of war to resolve conflicts.”
The talk is being organized by the St. Albert Christian Ministerial, a group of St. Albert churches that pursue social justice causes. The group is hoping to raise $3,000 for the St. Albert Community Village and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, said chair Dean Kurpjuweit.
Last year the talk sold out with featured guest Vietnam bombing victim Kim Phuc. Roche seemed like a natural fit this year, Kurpjuweit said.
“We try to get someone that crosses denominational lines, that has a message we think is appropriate for the whole community and has a Christian message as well,” Kurpjuweit said.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors and those under 18. They are available at St. Albert United Church.
Mayor Nolan Crouse started the event last year, partly to have churches take on more active roles in helping the community.
“I don’t think we’ve necessarily engaged the churches as groups, as a large community group yet.” Crouse said. “I’m very happy that they’ve taken this on.”